My brother said to me recently that I was a vlogger before it was even a thing. He was referring to videos that we were watching that I took on an old school camera as a kid; I used to document our adventures and turn the camera around to narrate the particularly dramatic parts.
While it was funny to watch (especially since it was at my dorky adolescence phase), it did remind me how much I loved to document my life and adventures via video. Just like when I journal and take pictures, watching these videos made me wonder why I ever stopped doing it.
To cut a long story short, I wanted to start documenting my adventures again. Since I’m in a transition phase right now where I’m currently deciding where in Europe to relocate, I wanted to get something like a GoPro to document this period… but at the fraction of the cost.
That’s how I stumbled upon the Akaso Brave 7 LE.
It’s been said that this model is making a play for the title of “best action vlogging camera” so I decided to put it to the test.
- 1 At A Glance: Is the Akaso Brave 7 LE for You?
- 2 Why Akaso?
- 3 Akaso Brave 7 LE Action Camera Review
- 4 What I Love About the Akaso Brave 7 LE
- 5 What I Don’t Love About This Akaso Action Camera
- 6 Overall Thoughts on Akaso Brave 7 LE Action Camera
At A Glance: Is the Akaso Brave 7 LE for You?
- Key Specs: 4K/30FPS video | 20 MP images | 23.4cm x 12.1cm x 7.3cm | 75g
- Comes with lots of accessories such as waterproof case, 2 batteries, battery charger, and various mounts.
- Easy to use, with intuitive touchscreen and buttons.
- Ideal for vloggers, thanks to a tiny front-mounted selfie screen
- Great cost-effective action camera and alternative to GoPro
- Perfect introduction into action cameras and their capabilities!
Enjoy 20% off when you buy on Amazon from now until Aug 2, 2020!
Akaso is a company that’s committed to offering high-quality action cameras, but without the steep price tag. As I mentioned, I’m in a transition phase right now, so I can’t really justify spending on a GoPro for something that is purely a want.
Akaso has a model that’s pretty perfect for what I was looking for. “Best vlogging camera?” Uh, yes please!
To give you an idea of what Akaso offers, they offer 3 different ranges, aimed at 3 different types of users when it comes to action cameras.
Akaso’s EK7000 cameras are targeted towards entry-level users while Brave is their mid-range camera. For those who want a pro-level camera, the V50 should be your choice. With a starting price point of $59.99 USD for their EK7000 cameras, Akaso certainly lives up to their mission of being affordable!
I took the Akaso Brave 7 LE on a test run to see if it does, in fact, have a one-up on the GoPro.
Akaso Brave 7 LE Action Camera Review
Dimensions: 23.4cm x 12.1cm x 7.3cm | Weight: 75g | Video Resolution: 4K/30FPS | Image Resolution: 20MP | Waterproof: With case, up to 98ft/30m | Dual screens | WiFi: Yes | Bluetooth: No
I have to admit, opening this box made me a little scared at first. I’m not a tech person so all of the accessories that came with it were quite daunting to me, but when I found the quick start guide instructions, I quickly calmed down.
The box itself was super easy to open, it was really well protected too in delivery, so getting the camera out and ogling at the accessories was an easy feat.
The challenge was figuring out exactly what they were for (like I said: Not. Techy).
Here’s what’s included in the box:
- Waterproof case
- Remote control, with a wristband
- Battery charger and USB cable
- Two 1350mAh batteries and battery charger
- Various mounts, including a bicycle and 2 x helmet mounts, as well as bandages and tethers
- Protective Backdoor
- Lens cloth
- Quick Reference Guide
Do note that a microSD card is not included so don’t forget to buy one separately (like I did!). You should look for microSD cards that have high read and write speeds as they work best for action cameras. Here’s one that I recommend.
Now onto the specs.
Look and Feel
I love the look and feel of the Akaso Brave 7 LE. It’s slick and nifty and fits in the palm of your hand.
At 23.4cm x 12.1cm x 7.3cm and weighing only 75g (lighter than a GoPro AND the Akaso v50 Elite!), it’s really not a problem to carry around with you wherever you’re going.
The 2-inch touchscreen fills up its back, and the lens slightly protrudes out in the front. Also on the front is the selfie screen which is what makes it such a great vlogging camera.
On the top of the model are 2 buttons: one selects the mode (camera, video etc) and one is the shutter. On the right-hand side is the power button; on the left is an HDMI and USB port, and on the bottom is a compartment for the battery and SD card.
In terms of look and feel, the Brave 7 LE is black with some texture and it felt good in my hands.
While it becomes bulkier when you put it in the waterproof case, it is still easy to use. I found it easy to put on and take off, and there are buttons so that you can access the main functions of the camera. That said, I did have to press the buttons firmly to get a response.
Overall, I really like the look and feel of the Akaso Brave 7 LE.
Using the Akaso Brave 7 LE
This camera is really easy to use – I mean I told you I’m really not techy and I figured it out so it’s really not difficult – especially since the buttons are clearly marked and the touchscreen is self-explanatory too.
It was super simple to navigate the various menus and see what options are available.
What’s really neat is the remote control watch. It was so easy to toggle between photo and video with just one button as opposed to two on the camera.
You can also download the Akaso GO app which you can use to control the camera remotely and also to transfer the files to your phone. Most settings can also be tweaked using the Akaso GO app, which sets up a WiFi connection between camera and phones for real-time views.
Technical Specs and Performance
From a performance point of view, it did exactly what I wanted.
In terms of images, the Akaso Brave 7 LE can capture 20MP images.
Due to the fixed focus, however, you need to keep subjects at least 20 inches / 50 cm away, and the fish-eyes lens ensures that straight lines look more curved the closer they are to the edge of the frame. I didn’t fiddle around too much with this but apparently, more techy people say that you can use super-wide, wide, medium, and narrow modes to lessen the effect of this.
In good lighting, all the images have plenty of color, contrast, and details (unless the digital zoom-in onscreen controls are used).
Other notable features include the self-timer mode which is great for selfies and a continuous shooting mode that can take up to 30 photos at a time. As well as this, white balance and exposure compensation settings can be tweaked for both photos and videos.
As I mentioned above, I was keen on using this model for its video capability… so how did it perform?
With the Brave 7 LE, you get 4K/30FPS and 1080P/60FPS videos which have great detail and clarity. Equipped with a powerful 6-axis stabilization, the camera also corrects vibrations when you are moving fast.
I loved this feature of the camera as my favorite way to travel is to take long road trips and sometimes you have views that you can’t stop for. This camera filmed some great sights and regardless of how fast we were going, the videos were steady and smooth.
As for the front-facing screen, this is where the Brave 7 LE stands out.
A long press of the “M” button on the top of the camera activates the front-facing screen and voila, you have selfie mode!
It’s pretty cool to be able to see yourself on the front screen but the only qualm I have about it is that the screen is square-shaped and doesn’t give you a completely true preview of what you’re actually recording.
From playing around with it a bit though, I soon realized that you just have to keep yourself in the center of the screen and it usually looked just fine.
As for battery life, when I used it on-and-off for a day, taking both video and photos, it lasted about 2 or 3 hours. But with a second battery included in the package, having a dead battery wasn’t really an issue for me.
Although I didn’t use it, the camera does have a tripod thread at the bottom of the body so you can mount it on a small tripod too.
What I Love About the Akaso Brave 7 LE
At a relatively low price point of $139.99 USD, I’m really pleased with the Brave 7 LE. Although the model doesn’t have 4K/60FPS as other action cameras do, the 4K/30FPS still gives you great video resolution, decent stabilization, and lots of details and vibrant colors.
For the average user, the video and image quality is perfect for me and I like having all of the different functions and settings. I definitely didn’t use them all, but there are lots there to be played with.
As well as the dual-screen which is key for vlogging, I also love that the camera comes with 2 batteries included. I’m a stickler for letting electronics run on fumes, only for them to die at the most inconvenient moments, so having 2 batteries was literally a lifesaver (more than once!).
The charger for the batteries also has 2 ports so that meant I always had 2 charged with me too.
Although the accessories were a bit lost on me, I think that other camera-philes would appreciate that it comes with the waterproof case, various mounts, bandages, and tethers.
Enjoy 20% off when you buy on Amazon from now until Aug 2, 2020!
What I Don’t Love About This Akaso Action Camera
It might not seem like a big deal to some, but I was really disappointed that the camera doesn’t include an SD card.
This potential ‘issue’ may be down to my complete ignorance when it comes to tech, but I was really looking for something to just grab and go. I actually charged the camera’s batteries and took it out to a beautiful rural spot in Winchester; I was looking at stunning 360 views of rolling hills and when I tried to capture it on camera, that’s when I realized that I couldn’t use it (doh!).
So, I was left disappointed with that (most likely my fault, but still).
I was also left a bit wanting when it came to the user experience.
It may not be a big deal, but I felt like scrolling through the menus was a bit clunky. It was slow and not as responsive as I would have liked. Again, not a massive problem, but phones and tablets are so smooth and fast these days that you tend to notice when something is lacking and it can get quite frustrating.
Lastly, for a non-techy person like me, I would love it if the camera came with a more comprehensive set-up guide. Yes, the quick guide did enable me to pick it up and go but I still don’t feel like I really know everything the camera does.
Although I haven’t used it for watersports yet, it’s important to mention that the model isn’t natively waterproof like other action cameras. It also doesn’t have a voice control function either which people might want.
Overall Thoughts on Akaso Brave 7 LE Action Camera
Did the Akaso Brave 7 LE camera enable me to continue vlogging my adventures? Yes.
Did it provide good quality videos? Yep.
Did it one-up the GoPro? Well, that comes down to personal preference. If you want a good action camera at a fraction of the cost of a GoPro, then yes, it does. If you love gadgets, want all the bells and whistles, and have the budget, then not so much.
For me, a casual user, the Akaso Brave 7 LE is a solid choice for an action camera. The 4K/30FPS and 20MP images produced pictures and videos that were of a high-quality and the stabilization allowed me to use it on the go.
Although certain areas of user-friendliness could be improved, I found it really easy to use, it looks good, and it does what it says on the tin. It comes with a wealth of accessories too!
If you don’t need professional quality action footage or don’t have the budget for a premium product like the GoPro, the Akaso Brave 7 LE is an awesome budget-friendly action camera that should be on your radar if you’re looking to capture your adventures.
Disclaimer: The Akaso Brave 7 LE was sent to us to try out but as always, our opinion is solely ours. We will always be 100% honest with all our reviews.
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